BikeCommuters.com

The Bike Geek: The Bicycle Blue Book

Most of us are familiar with the famous “Blue Book” for cars. If you are not familiar with it, this little book (now a website and app) would give you an estimate of what a car is worth.

So a blue book for bikes would make sense, right? I mean, we all want to know what our bike is worth if we want to sell it. As an avid buyer and seller of bicycles on Craigslist (I’m not a flipper), I can tell you that the bicycle blue book sucks. Here is why: the prices are no where close to what the Los Angeles market dictates. This means that if you list your bike at “market value” you always get that buyer who wants to buy your bike at “blue book value”.

Here is a couple of examples of my personal experiences:

I sold a 2004 Giant TCR for $500 on Craigslist, Max Bicycle Blue book value: $300. GTFO.
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GiantTCR

Sold a 2007 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 on Craigslist for $450, Max Bicycle Blue Book value: a ridiculous $169.
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bianchivalue

Friends have also told me that when they try to sell bikes, the bicycle blue book value is way off.

Why such discrepancies? Not sure but here is my theory: According to the bicycle blue book site, it gathers data from Ebay and other sources but it does not cite Craigslist as one of the main sources. As far as I know, Craigslist contains more bicycle listings than eBay and it really dictates the market value of a bike more accurately.

7speedfixie

Sure you have idiots on Craigslist trying to sell piece of shit bikes for unrealistic prices, but that is where the art of bargaining comes in. On the other side of the coin, if you happen to be a buyer and you get that uninformed seller and throw the blue book value at them and they bite, you just scored a nice deal.

So if anyone is selling a Bianchi Via Nirone for $169, hit me at a thebikegeek@bikecommuters.com.

3 Comments

  1. RL Policar

    Ya that’s pretty lame…I’ve always used CL to determine market value of anything I’m selling. Sometimes you can play that to your advantage. You list your item high, and wait for others who are selling their stuff to raise their prices,then once they have, drop yours down and undercut to get a buyer.

  2. Bikeflipper

    Remember that BBB has a financial interest in what they say the price is. They run a trade-in scheme for used bikes. Unlike cars, bikes have no national database to draw prices from. there is no registration etc which taxes are bases on sale price, so BB basically they are just working from standard depreciation percentages from msrp. Looking at similar bikes on CL is the best indicator for your market.

  3. Ed

    You guys just do not understand what the racket is… The guy who started this scam site, had intentions of partnering up with bike dealers to offer a trade in program… Similar to a car dealership… Performance Bikes comes to mind. The suckers that trade in their bikes for penneys, and end up buying a bike with hardly nothing of a discount are the true losers in the game for not educating themselves, and believing the nonsense that bikes now have Blue Book values… Like as if a bike has an engine, accident report, etc. They in return take the bike they gave you pennies for, and end up selling the bike for the true selling value, which is a hell of a lot more on ebay!!! Seen it way too many times! I just can’t help but laugh. Think about this… How is it determined by this Blue Book Scam site, that a bike in like new, or excellent condition depreciates 85% in a few years??? Everybody needs to start getting smart to this, because anyone buying a new bike is going to get screwed shortly afterwards.

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